In The Old Ways Macfarlane examines the routes that mark - and in many cases lie submerged within or beneath - the British landscape. And not just the British landscape, but Spain and Palestine too. He draws out the connections between pathways and stories, reflecting on the different kinds of thinking and writing there have been inspired by travelling on foot.
Macfarlane is a lyrical, eloquent writer, whose portfolio of interests encompasses art, geology, map-making, poetry, environmentalism and adventure. As he goes about this he is guided by the spirits of many who have gone before him; perhaps the most significant of these is the poet Edward Thomas, with the artist Eric Ravilious another.
This is both a book about journeys and a journey in its own right - into the past, but also into the self. It is scholarly, informative, moving and thought-provoking. All I can say really is wow, what a beautiful and inspiring book, makes me want to get off my arse and go for a walk. The beer was good too :)